A leading Chinese fishery company and the Dalian University of Technology have established a laboratory to develop underwater robots, which are expected to take the place of divers to catch precious seafood. The robots will also likely perform seabed monitoring tasks at fishing grounds in Dalian, Liaoning province…Full Article: ECNS.cn Apr 2017

Key Point

  • The aquatic robots would reportedly help divers harvest trepang (a rare type sea cucumber), sea urchins, and abalone from the sea floor (~20 to 30 meters below the surface).

ChinaAg Comments

  • In August 2015, it was noted that Rongcheng, eastern Shandong, reportedly produced 44% of China’s kelp, 16% of the country’s sea cucumbers, and 9% of its abalone.
  • In December 2014, 21 aquaculture (sea cucumber) farmers from the Leting County, Hebei Province sued ConocoPhillips China and the China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) over a 2011 oil spill. The farmers noted that they suffered CNY 140 million (~US$22.6 million) in sea cucumber losses.
  • In 2013, the Chinese food company of Joyvio, subsidiary of Legend Holdings (HKG:3396), launched an agricultural project in the village of Xianrendong, north of Dalian. The project included developing the village’s blueberry and sea cucumber industries. As of January 2015, a total of CNY 50 million (US$8.2 million) has been spent on the agricultural project.
  • In June 2011, the Penglai 19-3 oilfield, jointly owned by CNOOC (51%) and the Chinese subsidiary of US oil giant ConocoPhillips 49%), began leaking oil. A total of 870 sq. km of seawater (Bohai Bay) was severely polluted, while the total scope of the spill reached 6,200 sq. km.

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